"The Hard Way on Purpose" by David Giffels
For an artist like David Giffels, his paintbrush is a pen and his muse is the city of Akron.
Writing was always the career path that Giffels wanted to pursue, even as a child. He spent several years as a columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal, served as a contributing commentator and essayist on National Public Radio station WKSU and is currently an assistant professor of English at The University of Akron, teaching creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program.
In his free time, he can be found writing in the attic of his Highland Square home. Having written four books since 1998, Giffels has a dedicated fanbase, both in Akron and beyond. His most recent book, “The Hard Way on Purpose,” garnered national attention in May from Esquire magazine and the New York Times. The stories in the book even inspired a clothing line from Rubber City Clothing.
“One of the things I love about Akron is the way people support each other organically,” Giffels says. “In a place like this, I think we realize we need one another to make things work.”
Rather than waiting for inspiration to hit, Giffels says he’s a firm believer in discipline and chooses to combat writer’s block with music and sitting at his desk.
“It’s far more important to write every day and push through the bad days than to try to guess when the good days will happen,” he says.
This summer, Giffels hit the road to promote “The Hard Way on Purpose” and has become a literary cheerleader for his hometown.
“Akron’s such a weird, lovable place that has legitimate soul,” Giffels says. “It gives me more than most writers could ever hope for.”